With their roots in glam and New Wave, and their undeniable talent, the Killers have helped breathe fresh air into the current alt-rock scene.
– Rolling Stone
The Killers’ fantastic debut album Hot Fuss is one of my favourite albums. Formed in 2002, this band from Las Vegas plays some of the best synth rock around, with some excursions into Goth pop in the opening song Jenny was a friend of mine and Smile like you mean it. The band’s name is taken from New Order’s video for “Crystal” in which a fictional band appeared that was called The Killers.
Some tv addicted guys might also know this great band out of the hit series The O.C., where they performed in the season two’s episode “The new era”.
The album was first released in June 2004 and was re-released in August 2005 as a limited edition with three bonus tracks. I strongly recommend the limited edition version of the album.
So much as for some information on the band itself, for what concerns their music, they play, as I mentioned above, post-punk/synth rock, which was quite popular back in the 1980s. A song with some of the best lyrics around is certainly Somebody Told Me: “Well somebody told me / You had a boyfriend / Who looked like a girlfriend / That I had in February of last year / It’s not confidential / I’ve got potential / A rushin’, a rushin’ around” – I honestly can’t think of any other song that would treat androgyny.
Another great song is Mr Brightside, a faster song than most of the others on the album, which describes love, jealousy and voyeurism. “Jealousy / Turning saints into the sea / Turning through sick lullaby / Joking on your alibi / But it’s just the price I pay / Destiny is calling me / Open up my eager eyes / I’m Mr Brightside”.
A song which stands apart is certainly Everything will be alright, a surreal song that catches me every time I listen to the album. I especially like the fact that they distorted Brandon Flowers’s voice here, which strengthens the surreality even more. “I never knew, I never knew / So take your suitcase, cause I don’t mind / And baby doll, I meant it ever time / You don’t need to compromise / I’m dreaming bout those dreamy eyes / I never knew, I never knew / But it’s alright… ”
The Killers are hardly indie anymore, but still the song Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll is enormous, a catchy earworm to which I could listen over and over again.
The most ingenious line on the entire album however is in my opinion – some other critics rather see this as a misstep – featured as a chorus on the song All these things I’ve seen: “I got soul but I’m not a soldier”. When The Killers performed on Live8 last year, Robbie Williams, who got on stage right after them, replaced the chorus of his song “Let me entertain you” with this line, to the great surprise of everyone.
If somebody asked me for my favourite song on the album, I would stumble. I love every second of Hot Fuss from the very first to the very last. And the more often I listen to the album, the more I dig it.
Both the first and the last song of this album are about a tragic murder, which brings forth a lot of closure to this album. Overall, this is a great album for people who love good yet not too overwhelming drum rythms combined with fantastic synth riffs and bombastic lyrics that say a lot more than any “baby you’re the one” mainstream song. I can’t wait for the second album to get released – hopefully they won’t set themselves under too much pressure after such a powerful debut and mess it up.